This Quarter’s Featured Project – Keepin’ It Together

Best Friends for Life: Gail and Puppy

Thanks to all of you from Puppy!

My name’s, “Puppy.” I’m a 13 year old Yorkie & Chihuahua mix. Everyone is surprised to find out how old I am when they hear my name and meet me….frisky and lively and full of energy, I guess I’ll always look and act like a pup, and that’s just fine with me!                                                         When I was younger, Mom, Dad, Bro and I all lived on a modest little farm in the country. We raised dairy goats; Nubians and LaManchas were our specialty. I really liked the way they smelled and I enjoyed going to the barn each day with the folks to help with milking and caring for my caprine “cousins.” My favorite thing to do was to steal a piece of the trimmings when the goats had their hooves clipped…..have you ever tasted goat hoof? It’s the caviar of doggie cuisine, y’know.

About two years ago, things all of a sudden changed ALOT! First, Bro got really sick…… the kind of sick that means hospital trips, chemo, and weeks and weeks of pain medicine. After that, Bro never really looked the same; and soon, he just completely disappeared. Mom and Dad walked around like zombies after Bro left. They looked scared.

We moved to a smaller place because Mom’s health wasn’t very good anymore. She has a lot of trouble breathing. Soon, she was wearing a leash attached to her nose (she called it her oxygen) and she was never able to walk off-leash again. That seemed bad enough, but then, all of a sudden, Dad got sick like Bro. And less than a year after Bro disappeared, Dad disappeared, too. Mom says both of them went to live in heaven. I can’t understand why they left Mom and me here alone, but Mom says they got invited and we didn’t. But she says we will be invited to heaven soon enough. She says Dad and Bro are not coming back, either. So now, it’s just Mom and me scraping by on her Social Security check.

With things going so badly in Mom’s life, I didn’t want to tell her that my mouth hurt. But as time went on, it REALLY got sore and I couldn’t chew my food. She noticed and started calling around to see if a vet would fix my mouth on credit…….but none of the vets agreed to let Mom pay on time; not even the one we’ve been going to all these years!

But ya know what? Mom didn’t give up. She kept asking around and eventually she found out about TASP: The Animal Support Project. She talked with a volunteer there and they hooked us up with a vet named Dr. Nicole, who actually fixed my mouth for FREE! Dr. Nicole had a grant from the ASPCA to help animals belonging to poor people…..and since nobody’s poorer than Mom and me, I was able to get the care I needed. But that’s not the end of the story!

The vets also said I needed medicine to help my heart work better. So TASP took me to a specialist and got me the tests I needed to get the right medicine. Now, a TASP volunteer visits Mom and me twice a month to count out pills into my trays. The trays have little compartments in them and each morning and evening, Mom takes the pills from a compartment and folds them into some tasty canned dogfood that I find just irresistible.  TASP even found me a sponsor who donates my pills so Mom doesn’t have to use food money to buy them.

The volunteer says Mom and TASP have “joint custody” of me so I can remain at home and still get the special care I need.  They say I will be happier at home with the Mom I’ve known all my 13 years than to be uprooted and sent somewhere else. They know I am only at peace when I’m on Mom’s lap, watching the cooking shows on cable. And Mom is SO HAPPY to know she doesn’t have to spend the rest of her life alone! Mom and I sometimes look at each other and wonder which of us will be the next one to disappear. But at least now Mom knows that if SHE gets invited to heaven first, then I still have my friends at TASP to care for me until my invitation arrives.

CLICK HERE to watch Puppy & Gail’s video